By now you have probably heard that pilots that fly drones commercially must have a Remote Pilot’s License from the FAA. I can’t stress having this license enough. If you are hiring an sUAS pilot for aerial photography or video and you hire someone that is not licensed, you could be setting yourself up for a major headache.

In addition to the FAA license, you might not have heard that some states – really just one – requires an additional license to fly commercially. While Louisiana requires a license if you are flying drones for agricultural purposes, the “First in Flight” state of North Carolina requires all commercial drone pilots to pass a test to get a certification. The test covers North Carolina privacy laws and has some overlap with the FAA’s Part 107 test.

As of this writing, that’s it: a North Carolina permit if flying in North Carolina and an FAA license. Of course, laws are always changing. The best site I’ve found to keep up is here.  Quite frankly, I doubt that many states will require an additional license like North Carolina, but it is important to know the state laws where your pilot might be flying.

If you have questions, ask your pilot. If he / she gets a glazed look in their eyes, you might need a new pilot.


What Licenses Does Your Drone Pilot Need?